tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC August 9, 2017 7:00am-8:00am PDT
phone lines are open. president trump may not exactly be on the same page pointing to our nuclear arsenal making the point they're ready. developing in the last hour, an arrest in the new paris tear investigation. one man now in custody after a car rammed into a group of french soldiers. back at home, some political maneuvering with mitch mcconnell unplugged. the majority venting about president trump upset over his expectations saying that's the reason for so few legislative wins and in just the last couple minutes the white house firing back. our team is here with the latest on all of it and this morning we are getting a better sense of what the president meant or what rex tillerson thinks he meant by threatening fire and fury against north korea. listen. >> i think the president just wanted to be clear to the north korean regime that the u.s., you know, unquestionable ability to defend itself, will defend itself and its allies and i think it was important to give
that message to avoid any miscalculation on their part. >> i want to go to bill neely in seoul just south of the border. can you walk us through what you're seeing and hearing on the ground and military activities and sort of the mood over there. >> yeah, good morning, hallie. certainly no military activity beyond the normal u.s. forces here. nearly 30,000 troops are always at a high state of readiness. no military activity but plenty of activity here. this city of seoul has every reason to be the most nervous capital in the world at the moment. 25 million people in the metro seoul area. they would be the first casualty of any war. and, remember, they face the possibility of conventional war for a very long time. 10,000 artillery tubes are pointed at this city from north korea. but there is a new reality. not just that u.s. intelligence
assessment that puts them in the nuclear crosshairs, if you like. they now know there is a nuclear neighbor to the north. but also president trump's rhetoric. they are used here to fire a rhetoric from pyongyang. not used to this rhetoric from a president of the united states. they never heard anything like this. there are mixed messages coming to seoul. what did donald trump mean exactly? you know, what kind of red line is he drawing here? what constitutes a threat for donald trump? or do you listen to the words of rex tillerson, a much cooler head praised this week by the chinese for being courageous and saying to north korea, we don't seek war. we don't seek regime change. so, there is confusion here. more optistic south korean analysts would say, look, kim jong-un has a very good sense of self-preservation. he does not want war.
those are the optimists. but there is, hallie, plenty of anxiety here in seoul. >> bill neely live in seoul and reporting throughout the day. bill, thank you very much for joining us. kelly o'donnell is traveling and you heard bill walk through the mood and anxiety in south korea and some of the questions of the mixed messaging it seems between president trump on the one hand and his adviser and capital members like rex tillerson. >> you do see a difference and play to the strengths or roles of the different entities in the federal government. where you have the pentagon which has to do all of its own war planning and force protection with having troops who are stationed in the rengio and in guam where there is this new heightened sense of threat. the secretary of state who made that refueling trip in guam which was preplanned and a
perfect opportunity to try to showcase the concerns that the u.s. has. he, of course, is leaning on diplomacy and trying to be supportive of the president but not matching the same level of rhetoric. talk about not wanting regime change and reunification ahead of any time table that might otherwise exist. and the president being the president. in trump-style deterrence where he is using this forceful language and then resorting to twitter tasoo sort of give us m insight, perhaps. if we look at one of his tweets where he says my first order as president was to renovate our nuclear arsenal it is stronger and more power than ever before. in the early days of the administration it was notable that it was among his first uses of the presidential pen. now, a way for him to talk about a challenge to north korea. a challenge that seems to be directed at the young dictator there and not so much to calming nerves. the president very much in presidential style. but you do see differences with
state, the pentagon and the president. hallie? >> kelly o'donnell live in bridgewater. thank you very much. back with me to my set here. bruce clinger a 20-year intelligence and now a senior research fellow at the heritage foundation and then our panel for the hour. josh letterman and foreign policy reporter for the associated press and white house reporter for "washington examiner" sarah westwood. thank you, all, for being here. kind of the dream team to talk about all of this happening today. you heard kelly talking about who the intended recipient of this message is. we shouldn't be surprised by the surprise. you are surprised by the surprise of what is happening now. explain that. >> the people are baeing surprised by north korea's increasing capabilities on nuclear and missile capabilities. we've known about that it's in work for some time. we may not know exactly where they are on the development
path, but we know what path they're on and what their objectives are. when i was at cia in the late '90s we did an unclassified intelligence estimate that predicted that north korea would target all of the continental u.s. by 2015. so, we were off a few years, but it shouldn't be a surprise. >> this is interesting to me, this is not yet a fact. this is an intelligence assessment from one intelligence agency. do you think there is wiggle room here or do you think this is happening on the ground in north korea? >> north korea is the hardest of the hard targets. analysts do their best with limited information. so, different analysts or different agencies may disagree. we don't know the details of this report, but the media report, you know, identifies that it was the intelligence communities. whether this was a national intelligence estimate or just the view of one agency, we don't know. whether north korea has its capability today, tomorrow or next year in a way is irrelevant. we know what objective they have. >> and the objective, of course -- >> is to be able to threaten the
united states and its allies with nuclear weapons. >> we've seen president trump firing back. that's the way to phrase it. you heard kelly talk about that tweet renovating or modernizing the nuclear arsenal. give us a fact check here. that doesn't seem to be possible. >> we have been looking into that this morning. president trump issued an executive order that said we're going to have a review to ensure that our nuclear deterrent is up to speed and it's modern and rigorous and prepared to deal with 21st century threats. they haven't released from the white house any results of that review. but we do know that there is a modernization of the nuclear triad, as they say, that was started under president obama that is continuing. it's in the early stages and so far we don't know that there is a whole lot of progress. >> as malcolm points out on the tweet we just saw, this takes years. this is not something he would do in seven months. >> exactly. that's one of the criticisms of this tweet. we don't know what he was referring to. likely the executive order. but president trump has been
clear from the days of the campaign that one of the top criticisms he had of president obama was that obama telegraphed in advance everything he basically planned to do in response to international conflicts and well known among world leaders that obama was reluctant or unwilling to use military force. so, president trump has already tried to make everyone in the world believe that he would use military force at the slightest provocation. and there was no forewarning of the missile strike in syria in april. there was no forewarning that the pentagon was going to use a moab in the middle east. president trump has always tried to create this perception that he's ready and willing to use military force because that's sort of at the crux of his america first strength-based foreign policy. >> bruce, i want to talk with you about whether that is the right policy or the right position for the president to take. there's something interesting. the president spoke with tim russert from nbc in 1999 specifically about north korea.
i wonder if it gives a window of insight as sarah has rightfully point out, i'm not going to foreshadow what i'm going to do. listen to what he had to say to tim and then we'll talk about it. >> you cannot launch a preemptative strike against north korea because the nuclear fallout could be devastating to the -- >> if he told you, we can't do this. >> you're giving me two names. you want to do it in five years when they have warheads all over the place everyone pointed to new york city or do you want to do something now? you better do it now. if they think you're serious. i deal with lots of people. if they think you're serious, they'll negotiate and it will never come to that. >> is this a window into the president's perspective now? >> well, those comments, as well as the comments yesterday about fire and fury, they may be intended to signal resolve to defend our selves and our allies. but they're affirming concerns by our allies that the u.s. may be preparing a preventive attack
as hr mcmaster, the national security adviser said recently that the president has asked the military to prepare for such an option. any kind of military attack against north korea could, as secretary of defense mattis said, have catastrophic consequences. when i was doing war games in the government, the alliance always won, but it was at the cost of hundreds of thousands of casualties and that was before we thought they had nuclear weapons. >> rex tillerson is very aware of that josh. you spent some time traveling with him. do you think he understands the gravity of the situation but also how to handle this now? >> i think he is very focused and committed to the strategy that he's pursuing. even today in guam as we're seeing these new escalating threats from trump and from north korea. tillerson is saying no need to change our strategy. our strategy is working and look at these u.n. sanctions as a result and that north korea is acting out this way because they feel increased pressure. >> we're going to talk more about guam. why guam coming up later in the
show. we'll talk about, frankly, cuba. an adviser to the president talking about a comparison that some have made. and i want you to listen to this and, sarah, i want you to get your reaction because it was startling to some folks. listen. >> these are the moments when we have to come together as a nation and support the executive. whether you voted for him or not, whether they're a democrat or republican, these are the trying times. during the cuban missile crisis, we stood behind jfk. this is analogous to the cuban missile crisis. >> is that the analogy we should be making here? what is happening now the cuban missile crisis which was a very different sort of time and situation and leaders in that role. >> some folks have been making that comparison. darrell issa has been a prominent person who immediately came out and said that this is the most serious nuclear threat to face the american homeland and cuban missile crisis. but what sebastian is referring to is this effect known as rally
around the flag effect where, you know, presidents sometimes do see bumps in approval when we face international conflicts. president trump faced a spike in his approval rating after the missile strike in syria. i don't know that maybe that is the appropriate take away to approach this conflict with, but it is a phenomenon that pollsters often see. >> bruce, before i let you go, i want to get your take on who this message was aimed at. was it aimed at china? we talk about who the audience is. clearly it was kim jong-un and was it also china? >> i think messages have multiple recipients. clearly the president and the rest of the administration is signaling north korea to back away from their programs and show u.s. resolve. also to china that if the u.s. is willing to do a military attack, then china should step up its game to increase pressure on north korea to prevent that kind of attack. and then the messaging to the allies is resolve, but perhaps the language itself was over the top.
>> thank you very much for joining us and for your perspective. i appreciate it. i'll ask josh and sarah to stick around. we'll get into guam and what's happening there. we're talking about what is happening here at home. the answer, not much. with the president blaming his stalled agenda on the senate and arguing the commander in chief totally doesn't get it. but if that's not enough, we offer our price match guarantee too. and if that's not enough... we should move. our home team will help you every step of the way. still not enough? it's smaller than i'd like. we'll help you finance your dream home. it's perfect. oh, was this built on an ancient burial ground? okay... then we'll have her cleanse you house of evil spirits. we'll do anything, (spiritual chatter) seriously anything to help you get your dream home. ally. do it right.
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our local station in ohio. talking with mitch mcconnell and the senate majority is giving this, let's put it mildly blunt assessment of president trump. >> our new president had not been in this line of work before. and i think had excessive expectations abut how quickly things happen. in the democratic process. >> colleague kasie hunt is over on capitol hill for us. listen, we have heard mitch mcconnell come out sort of saying that the president maybe didn't fully grasp what happens in washington before. this a little bit square with his last comments but the white house does not seem to be happy about it. >> yeah, hallie, this is not, mitch mcconnell has been willing to be straight forward about how he feels about what kind of expectations the president has set. he has often, i think you seen him try to follow through
aggressive with actions to demonstrate to the president that perhaps his preferred course of action is not something that is realistic. and i want to show you the rest of mitch mcconnell's comments and then we'll talk about it -- i think it will show you what i'm talking about. >> part of the reason i think people feel like we're underperforming is because too many kind of artificial deadlines, unrelated to the reality of the complexity of legislating may not have been fully understood. >> so, he's essentially saying that the president didn't totally understand how these deadlines would play out, set unrealistic expectations. i will say that some of those deadlines were set by republicans in congress. they had this grand 200-day agenda that they set out way back in the wintertime. and a lot of this, these dominos were built on each other. they needed the money out of health reform to move to tax reform. they have an accomplished health reform and go to tax reform
anyway. so, there's a little bit of he said/she said going on here with the white house. but there is also a very interesting and escalating fight going on between mcconnell and the white house and there's some contradictory pieces of evidence out this morning. the first one that i thought was pretty interesting is that the president tweeted about that special election that's going on down in alabama for luther strange, who, of course, was appointed to fill jeff sessions seat. a nasty primary going on down there and one thing mitch mcconnell said he is going to do is support his incumbents and the president tweeted this morning that he is going to support luther strange. now, many could argue that congressman mo brooks who is a member of the tea party in the house he is making that challenge, he may be somebody more in line with president trump. mcconnell's people have been on the airwaves attacking brooks for being against trump. brooks has put out pretty aggressive statements saying this doesn't make any sense. on the one hand, you have the president lining himself up with
mitch mcconnell. but on the other hand, i also want to show you this tweet that i notice you noticed earlier today. he said excuses, senate majority leader needed another four years in addition to the seven years to repeat and replace obamacare. so, a lot of back and forth and nastiness going on here between the president and the senate majority leader, hallie. >> kasie hunt live for us over on the hill during this recess week. chris wilson and former director of research and analytics for the cruz 2016 presidential campaign along with sarah and josh who are back with us. chris, why can't they all just get along? >> i think the media loves to cover republican -- as you see -- >> don't make this about the media, man. this is a thing. mitch mcconnell is coming out and saying the president doesn't get the hill. his top adviser slamming -- >> i don't know if you call dan
scanivo a top adviser. >> he sits two doors down from the oval office. >> he has deleted as many tweets. the problem is he is probably getting out front on something that -- >> you don't think -- >> i think what mitch mcconnell had said publicly are things he said directly in the past to the president. no one understands the workings of the senate right now better than mitch mcconnell and frustration that exists on his part about unrealistic expectations and what the senate can do and the timeline he can get it done. i would imagine the flip side of that is the president is frustrated with how long it takes to get things done. that's not the way it works in trump tower. >> polling has come out on how people see president trump. this is from this new political morning poll. 40% approval and 18% of those folks strongly approve. we know based on some of the figures we have been seeing. the trump base is shrinking. what is behind that?
>> exactly what we just talked about. frustration over the inability to repeal and replace obamacare. frustration over the fact that there hasn't been a wall built. frustration over the fact that donald trump are trying to do that haven't been done. the flip side is what is happening today is what drives next week's numbers. what we see coming out is the reflection of -- a few things happened last week regarding staffing and other issues that didn't get a lot of positive press that's what you see driving these numbers more than anything else. >> people are encouraged by john kelly coming in and folks over at the white house. i do want to ask you and i know that you are consulting with luther strange as kasie brought him up. doing analytics work for him. >> i was shocked when the tweet came through last night. frankly we expected it to happen and senator strange was -- >> the white house has alluded to all along that they weren't going to get involved in this. >> mixed signals that came out about it. when i saw it last night, it was a surprise to me.
>> how do you think this plays in to what kasie is talking about. mitch mcconnell -- >> careful to keep luther strange in that seat even though a lot of alabama republicans want this to be treated as an open primary and not a race against an incumbent. this is president trump rewarding the loyalty of luther strange. it's correct senator strange has been over every media airwave trying to praise the president and trying to tie himself to the administration as closely as possible because trump is very popular in alabama. so, that plays well. and strange's campaign has focused very heavily on where congressman mo brooks has departed from the president to make him look like he's not loyal to trump. that has been the centerpiece of their campaign. >> mitch mcconnell, it seems as though when you look at how this campaign is run, people aren't exactly tying themselves tahim. these candidates. >> for mitch mcconnell, he is going to have to show next year when we have elections that
republicans have been able to do at least some of what they promised that they were going to do. let's face it, trump isn't going to be on the ballot when people go to the polls next year for republicans to turn out voters. they're going to need to be able to show something. that's when we saw mcconnell willing to make his own members take hard votes in an attempt to really force them to deliver on their promises. >> chris, final thoughts? >> if you look at 2018. 2018 is going to be about turning out the base and getting the trump voter that turned out in 2016. frankly, in the best interest of republicans to do the things that will keep the base excited. >> chris wilson, thank you for joining us here on set. josh and sarah, wale be hanging out a little longer. we'll turn to what is happening overseas and that s.w.a.t team in paris opening fire today on the suspect in this morning's terror attack. they tracked his car on surveillance footage after he plow under to a crowd of police officers on purpose. this is just the latest attack on a city already on edge.
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pastor detained there for two years. the 62-year-old was accused of trying to overthrow the regime and sentence to a life of hard labor. it's all happening, of course, as we have been talking about more and more tensions on the peninsula. kim jong-un to hit the specific territory of guam after president trump promised fire and fury in response to any attack. and kenyan opposition leader is making new fraud accusations in that country's general election. remember, a big picture yesterday was about that vote. well, now, claims hackers infiltrated the election's commissions database and showed the president with a pretty big lead after most of the votes were counted. the man accused of killing a police officer in missouri is now facing first degree murder charges. police arrested southeast of kansas city after somebody reported seeing him walking on a highway. it was right near that highway where gary michael was killed
near a traffic stop on monday. the officer had been on the force for less than a year. in france, police say they have shot and wounded a suspect in connection with that attack on french soldiers earlier today. that person now in custody. check this out. a witness recorded video of the attack in which a driver slammed his car into a group hurting six of them. now, paris' prosecutor has opened an official terror investigation into the incident. chris dickey is live in paris with more. chris, walk us through what we know and what we're still waiting for. >> well, what we're waiting for is confirmation of whether this man acted alone or connected in any way to the so-called islamic state or al qaeda. i think what we're likely to see is a profile of this guy sympathetic and radicalized. he was not acting spontaneously and waiting for the soldiers. there were about a dozen of them
who came out behind a small garrison here behind me walking down to the parking garage. he was parked in a position where he knew he would be able to run over several of them. that's exactly what he did. pretty clearly a premeditated terrorist attack. the question is, did he plan it on his own like the man who carried out the attack in nice last year or directed or directly connected to terrorist organizations in syria or else where? >> chris, thank you very much. appreciate it. we're talking more coming up about usair force jets arriving in guam considering a strike on that territory. this is a key spot. home to strategic bombers and home to thousands of u.s. military members and their families serving there. the local governor trying to calm things down saying they have several layers of defense. so what are they?
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we are back with some breaking news. in the last couple of minutes a spokesperson for paul manafort the former campaign chair for donald trump confirming an fbi raid at one of manafort's homes. this is on the heels of the new "washington post" reporting that scooped this. i want tabring in kelly o'donnell who has covered donald trump's campaign and now traveling with president trump in new jersey. fill us in on what this statement says and what we know now regarding this new
revelation. >> it is an important development because paul manafort was a critical figure at a time when the campaign was involved with that meeting with the russian lawyer and a russian-born lobbyist and other associates with donald trump jr. and, of course, he served as campaign chairman. we also know he has voluntarily appeared before the intelligence committees in congress. a spokesperson for paul manafort provides this statement. fbi agents executed a search warrant at one of mr. manafort's residences. he has consistently cooperated with law enforcement and other serious inquiries and did so on this occasion, as well. so, making clear there was an execution of a warrant at a property belonging to paul manafort. typically and according to the "washington post" reporting that kind of event happens without warning. part of surprise is a tool for law enforcement there to try to gather anything that they have
the reason to look for. that include things like documents or computer records typically in cases like that, they're looking for anything that might not have been voluntarily turned over. we know that manafort has been cooperating. he has been one of the figures involved in this because of some of his previously existing business with figures in ukraine and he's often done consulting work in countries that are not always friendly to the united states. but this is a significant development and it is to some degree confirmed by manafort spokesperson. >> kelly o'donnell live for us in bridgewater. i want to bring back in josh and sarah who are with us and kelly is right. this is a significant development here perhaps not surprising given this is one of the fbi would do as they're conducting an investigation. >> not out of course for this type of investigation. but, look, hallie, every time we learn more about the mechanics of this investigation. first we learned the special counsel was hiring a bunch of
top notch lawyers and then we learned about a grand jury being used to look into this and now we learn about this raid. it makes it harder and harder for trump to say this is much to do about nothing. this isn't a real thing and this has nothing to do with me. it starts to look more and more what americans expect for an actual investigation that can lead to something real. >> paul manafort has name has come up repeatedly when we were talking about the special counsel and the investigation, as well. >> it is significant because others have surfaced like robert page and stone who didn't have a significant relationship with the trump campaign. >> the white house tried to say it. they're trying to say it. nobody believes it. >> paul manafort is one of the satellite associates. campaign manager and one of the -- >> de facto campaign manager, if not by title. he is still doing it. >> involve would the trump campaign for a significant period of time until close to the very end.
it is going to be difficult for the trump white house to use this same argument that the focus is on officials who didn't have substantive relationships with the president. this is someone who played a very high-level role in the campaign and, therefore, would be central to any inquiry about collusion that occurred during the campaign. >> manafort representatives have been very open and sort of pushing the fact that they are cooperating with this investigation. presumably because to do so otherwise, to not do that would be problematic for them. >> that's right. one of the things that investigators look to do as they're building these cases is to put pressure on particular people that are involved in it to make it more likely that they will cooperate and you can be sure that given paul manafort knows a whole lot of what happened during the campaign and bob mueller will do everything he can to get paul manafort to open up. >> this is not the only developing news we are following today. we will continue to push on our reporting for that. we are also following what is happening with north korea and guam and the situation of
this crisis, frankly, facing this president. we want to show you new pictures that the usair force are blasting out. air force planes arriving in guam. the planes are there to conduct military operations with japan and south korea but the timing comes after north korea's warning that it is seriously reviewing a plan to hit the u.s. territory. guam's governor says the u.s. will defend the island. >> i've reached out to the white house this morning. an attack or threat on guam is a threat or attack on the united states. they have said that america will be defended. >> nbc news national security and military reporter courtney joins us live from the pentagon. answer this question. why guam? why what can the military do and why is the focus now on this area? >> so, guam has been technically in north korea's crosshairs for some time now. they had the capability of
being, of firing a ballistic missile that has the range to hit guam. not necessarily the ability to target it. not necessarily the guidance system to target it, but the range. so, guam is a very important military location for the u.s. military, in part, because where it is. the neighborhood that it's in. there's a large u.s. military presence there. they have both navy assets that can defend and then also have some assets like you mentioned, the bombers that are a strategic deterrence that exist there, hallie. >> courtney. thank you. i want to bring in medal of honor recipient colonel jack jacobs josh letterman and sarah westwood, as well. colonel, les talk about this region. courtney laid out with what's up with guam. but seoul, 25 million people, bigger than new york city. essentially the distance from washington to baltimore when you
look at the greater tokyo area with 38 million people. basically double new york city. so, how do military operations unfold if they were to unfold without putting hundreds of thousands, if not millions of civilians in the croshairs in the process? >> we have a couple of ways. early warning satellites. we have sea-based early warning and ground-based early warning. not perfect, but we could get an early warning. it's complicated by the fact that north korea has mobile launchers now. we have high altitude, anti-missile capability. we don't have enough of it. they're not perfect either. we need to have more of it. we need to field more of them and they have to be better. but they're pretty good, too. we have a very effective offensive cybercapability and we're going to use that, too. >> when you look more broadly at not just the situation with guam where by the way secretary of state rex tillerson touched down on his trip today in asia. when you look at what's
happening more broadly how involved do you think secretary mattis was in this process and those fire and fury comments from president trump and how you see that unfolding. >> i would be shocked if he was involved at all. i think the executive departments were all taken by surprise, as usual. i think the president decides on what he's going to say at the last minute and goes ahead and says it. i think the departments have been walking that back. i don't think that this represents what american military and diplomatic policy is or is going to be. and when i first heard the words, i thought they were by kim jong-un. i think they're best ignored. >> colonel jack jacobs, thank you very much for that perspective and joining us here. coming up, returning to the opioid crisis and one place in ohio seeing so many overdoses. a coroner calls it a mass casualty event. how are folks there actually getting the drugs? turns out it's easier than you might think. just one click away. (vo) more "doing chores for mom"
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cooperation. that's president trump there talking about how his administration is looking abroad as it tries to fight the opioid epidemic. my colleague is investigating how these dangerous substances make their way into the united states. they're not just coming over the border. they're flooding in from the intranet, as well. this new report is part of oour series "one nation overdosed." jacob joining me live. what did you find? >> as we talked about before, america's overdose crisis is worse than ever before because of the fentanyl it could kill you if you touch it or inhale it and much of the illegal fentanyl in the united states is smuggled by mexican cartels but another way that fentanyl is getting into the united states through the mail. take a look at this. in montgomery county, ohio, what local officials are calling the overdose capital of america, the synthetic is causing carnage
like america has never seen and it is just a click away on the internet. >> they'll mail it to your house. >> people are sitting at home in dayton and going to their computer and people are just getting mailed packages of fentanyl. >> yeah. typically they mail them to a vacant house, which we have plenty of. they can mail order it from china. >> back at my desk we decided to put that to the test. this is mitch and arne the two producers i have been working with on the story. we're just going to try. buy fentanyl. the first thing that pops up at the top is buy 3 -- >> clearly acknowledges the deadly effects of fentanyl. >> growing in usage in the united states and overdose from fentanyl is problematic, especially when it's included in
street heroin in order to increase potency. still they offered to sell and ship it directly to the united states. okay, so, my name, we've come up with a fake name. richard stevens. i am interested in getting i am interested in getting fentanyl sent to us in the united states. submit. >> then just a few minutes later, whoa, the e-mail came through, we have a potent fentanyl fentanyl analog, we ship to usa, only accept bit coin. warm regards. >> is it possible to get it to me without it being taken by u.s. customs? >> okay, here we go. e-mailed back again. we provide a reship guarantee and ship using ingenius package, my name is sara, nice meeting you. >> would you be willing to send
me a picture of the packaging? >> all right, ten minutes later got a response. okay, check this out, this is the package that the fentanyl comes in and this is the box that they ship it inside. i can zoom in i think. >> a few days later we again heard from china. it turns out in addition to great packaging ching labs offers an insurance policy in case the drugs get caught by customs. >> four days after we started to talk to our friend in china about ordering fentanyl to the united states, they gave us the pricing for a kilo. can you guess what it cost? >> we know in dayton it's like $60,000 wholesale. >> $10,949, guaranteed. if it gets seized at customs by americans, they resend it for free. >> a drug killing more americans than ever before, available online, something a border wall with mexico won't stop.
>> the wholesale street value, $60,000, that is enough for thousands of deadly doses. we did not go through with our order so we can't confirm whether they ship fentanyl or just a scam but the dea tells us there are mainland chinese companies selling fentanyl and other illegal drugs online. what does china say about all of this? their narcotics control commission tells nbc news they are not to blame for america's addiction and they have already deemed more -- than the united states has. >> jacob soboroff, thank you. joining us is regina re la bell >> are you surprised by this? >> the government was on it for a long time to try to stop the fentanyl and analogs because in some parts of the country it's
the number one cause of overdose deaths. >> we talk 142 americans are dying every day from opioid abuse, the equivalent of 9/11 every three weeks. we'll continue to talk about it. the president, you saw him speaking in bed minister about what to do about this. notably, he did not declare a national emergency but they did -- his team talked about adding more law enforcement officers, this is something you've written about before. is that enough, more law enforcement or do we need a national emergency declared? >> well, law enforcement plays a critically important role and we know that but we also know in law enforcement has said repeatedly, we can't arrest and incarcerate our way out of this situation. after law enforcement goes after cartels and disrupts drug trafficking networks, for low level offenders, incarceration isn't the answer. >> the president is saying if they don't start, then it will never be a problem. but what about people prescribed this by doctors?
that's a huge feeder of this issue. >> we know there are three times as many opioids being prescribed today than in 1999. there have been a decrease -- has been a decrease in opioid prescriptions but still have more than we need in this country. we don't have increased pain necessarily but we have a lot more opioids on the street. the majority of people who are misusing prescription drugs when they start do get them from family and friends, they are not buying them from a drug dealer. >> thoughts on the political fallout from this? >> it's kind of easy to focus on did he make it a national emergency or did he not? i think we have to give president trump credit that we're talking about this more than we were before. >> that is true. >> we didn't hear a ton of about this for the obama administration, it's part of the national conversation right now and it's probably something to do with that. >> is that fair, you think president trump is talking about it more than president obama did? >> i think the american public is more engaged on the issue. we spent a lot of time for a number of years and got a
billion dollars in the budget to address treatment so it's a lot more in the national conversation today. >> i think it's surprising that president trump didn't do what his own commission recommended. this is a problem that cuts across socioeconomic lines and generational lines. nobody is saying we should do less to combat the opioid crisis, it would be something that would be met rarely in this town with overwhelming bipartisan support if you were to initiate stronger more dramatic steps to combat the opioid crisis. it's a little surprising he didn't do that yesterday. >> thank you for spending time with us this morning and for watching that piece with us. josh and sara, i appreciate you joining us as well. we'll have you back soon. we'll be right back with today's big picture.
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>> we are back with today's big picture and today comes to us from the archives, 72 years ago today, nagasaki japan, august 9th, 1945, take a look. you're looking at survivors walking through the rubble of the city after the u.s. dropped its second atomic bomb on japan. tens of thousands of people died and six days later, surrendered to the allies ending the deadliest conflict in world history, of course the only time nuclear weapons have been used. the photograph comes from the associated press, 72 years ago today. love to hear your thoughts on facebook, twitter and snapchat and also on instagram. i'll see you online and in the
meantime, i appreciate you hanging out with us for this past hour, right now more news with ali rel she in new york. >> it's going to be a busy one. we'll chat with you later on. good morning, i'm ali velshi. steve n ste stephanie ruhle is out today. >> north korea best not make any more threats to the united states. they will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. they will be met with fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before. >> the united states has the capability to defend itself from any attack and defend our allies and we'll do so. the american people should sleep well at night. >> the language is so stunning because it contradicts all of the traditions of american